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Boy remembered as big baseball fan with winning smile

July 08, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Wendy Sauer on Wednesday characterized her 7-year-old son, Ryan Kamden Greene, as a baseball fanatic.

Ryan, who died after being struck Sunday by a sport utility vehicle in Ocean City, Md., was dressed in his Morgan County (W.Va.) Little League uniform for a Wednesday viewing.

Sauer said it was fitting that her son with the winning smile would wear the uniform forever.

Family and friends gathered for the viewing at the Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home in Berkeley Springs on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Ryan was pronounced dead at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md., after he was struck by a Ford Explorer on a sidewalk at the intersection of 77th Street and Coastal Highway in Ocean City.

He had been celebrating Independence Day in the resort town with his parents and two brothers.

Sauer said Ryan, who recently finished second grade at Widmeyer Elementary School in Berkeley Springs, had a passion for playing baseball.

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Ryan played third base and right field for the A's of the Morgan County Little League, Sauer said. It was his third year playing organized baseball.

Sauer said it was important to her that Ryan be buried in his baseball uniform "because he loved the game so much."

She said Ryan talked about, watched or played baseball nearly incessantly, especially once the school year was complete.

"He would be walking around the house swinging a bat. He would say, 'Look ma, this is how pitchers throw the ball,'" Sauer said. "Every day, morning until night, he was out playing ball with his friends."

Sauer said Ryan's interest in the game grew out of watching Atlanta Braves baseball games with his stepfather, Jerry W. Teter Jr., and Teter's son, 11-year-old Todd Teter.

Jerry Teter said Ryan also became a big football and NASCAR racing fan after moving in with the Teter family about 31/2 years ago. He said Ryan adopted the family favorites like the Washington Redskins and driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"When he came to live here, he was a Cowboys fan," he said. "But Ryan took right to it and started rooting for the 'Skins with us."

Jerry Teter and Sauer said one of the things they will remember most is the big smile Ryan thought could always get him out of trouble.

"He had a smile that could win your heart in a second," Sauer said. "He was so full of life. I miss him terribly."

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